Topic: Donkey Kong Country (Series)

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Let’s talk about the DKC games here.

Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong-Quest
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

I’ve not long started DKC on the switch online. Never played these games when young (only DK64) so I’m playing catch-up. Really enjoying it. Very fast, very tough. Just made it to the 4th Candy save point after numerous attempts. The snowy levels took a while to adapt to.

Which is the best game of the series? I hear good things about 2 and Tropical Freeze.

Also, imagine the initial trilogy being remastered with today’s graphics. How awesome would that be?



Personally I'd rate Returns & Tropical Freeze as the best ones, they are just top tier 2D platformers on par with Super Mario Bros 3 & World. I have a hard time going back to the SNES games as they are so ugly rather than retro looking now.

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I have yet to play tropical freeze, but have played returns I love the hell out of it.

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Of the first trilogy I think DKC 2 is the best designed game, but the first DKC also has its charm. I never played DKC 3. But I think I like the modern DKC games (Returns and Tropical Freeze) still a bit more. Tropical Freeze has by far the best soundtrack.



For me, hands-down, the best DKC has always been DKC2. That's the game where they really nailed the level design and animal companions and collectibles without going overboard, and both characters are fun to control and lack the weighed-down feeling of Donkey from the first game.

Tropical Freeze and Returns are really excellent additions, though, and I totally applaud the devs for making games that can be solidly part of the DKC canon. But nothing beats DKC2.

Edited on by rallydefault



Donkey Kong Country is one of the first games I have memories of playing. The game has such a unique, somewhat haunting, atmosphere (largely formed by the breathtaking visuals at the time, and David Wise's legendary soundtrack) - and it was probably the first time I felt fully immersed within a game.

Returns and Tropical Freeze fail to capture this same feeling IMO...and that's why I'd be hesitant to see the original trilogy remade (as cool as that would be).

That said, Tropical Freeze is probably my favourite in the series. Although it doesn't quite capture the same atmosphere as the original, the mechanics are tight and every level is unique. It stands amongst the best 2D platformers of all time IMO.

Returns is alright, but I remember the difficulty being all over the place.

I've not played enough of 2 to form an opinion, and I've not played 3 at all. Need to get to those...

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The original SNES trio are three of my favorite games ever. The gameplay, humor, and style those games had back then was like no other. If I had to rank them it would go:


The original gets a lot of love, but I prefer 2 & 3. They both felt more creative to me. And Donkey Kong might take the title of 'Least fun character to play as in his own series'. Not that he's bad, just the other characters are better (with one debatable exception). If I may make a recommendation for the SNES games: the collectibles in these games are some of the best, and integrated in a great way. DKC (again) isn't as strong in this area, but DKC 2 & 3 have a variety of things to find, and it's the perfect amount of stuff too. It's worth getting all the collectibles in those games.

I'm more ambivalent about Returns and Tropical Freeze. They're good, but to me they're missing the spark of the original. The levels are WAY too long and there's too many pointless collectibles. I've finished Tropical Freeze on hard and, while it's objectively a good game, I just didn't care outside of rote desire to finish a challenging thing. Soundtrack is still great though. Actually, I think my favorite thing about the whole series are the soundtracks. I don't think they'd be DKC without that music.

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Meh, not my favorite series, but it has potential. I really think this series needs more of a gameplay identity, it feels too generic and needs something to distinguish itself from other platformers. DK feels like he could just be an alternate character in Mario instead of his own platformer.

What I'd really like to see is a 3D subseries (similar to the sandbox Marios, Metroid Prime, and what Legends seems to be setting up to be for Pokemon) that goes for more of a hybrid platformer/beat em up style, think something like God of War, Knack, or the Werehog from Sonic Unleashed. That would fit DK pretty well (DK is a brute, but that doesn't reflect as much in his gameplay), and Nintendo doesn't really have an IP like that. Keep it a platformer, but have sections where you fight enemies with punches, kicks, stomps, rolls, etc. They could even have moves that work as combat moves AND platforming moves, for example in Unleashed, there was this uppercut move that's mainly used as an aerial attack, but speed runners also found it useful as a jump. And if it's successful, they could potentially add some of its moves and mechanics to 2D games as well (NSMB did this with Mario, it borrowed some of the moves added to Super Mario 64).


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Talking about a 3D sub series...

I’d love to see a DK64-sequel. But where the different characters truly are different and all characters can collect each collectible. No individual coloured bananas etc.

Imagine the single bananas and each golden banana could have been collected by any of the kongs but it was your choice who you would have used. Each Kong could have had different attributes;

Kong: HP&Strength / Speed&Agility
Chunky: 5 / 1
DK: 4 / 2
Lanky: 3 / 3
Diddy: 2 / 4
Tiny: 1 / 5

Could make it MetroidVania esque. See that tiny gap early in the game? Can’t make it until you unlock Tiny. Eventually get in the gap with Tiny? There’s an enemy with 5 hit points that Chunky could take out in one hit but it takes Tiny 5 hits to kill. So you tag barrel Chunky in to destroy the fool.

Anyways, back to DKC. I’m really impressed with the original DKC and if DKC2 is as good as people say it is then I could be in for a right treat.



@Oswinner I'm not big on making another collectathon DK, I don't think every 3D platformer needs to be an open sandbox collectathon and this would again make DK too similar to other platformers, but I like this idea. It would definitely improve on DK64's gameplay and make the extra characters worthwhile while still giving them unique abilities and characteristics.


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We don't really have a ton of 3D collectathons these days, though, at least not high-profile ones outside of obscure eShop indie stuff. I would be very open to a new DK64 with some tweaks.



@rallydefault I loved Yooka-Laylee. We need some more 3D platformers these days. I love to explore and come back to earlier levels when I’m all powered up and feel invincible.

Recommend any?



Yes! If you haven't tried New Super Lucky's Tale, I highly recommend it. It has a demo on the eShop. It is a bit easier until the end (it has some awesome and more challenging bonus levels if you get everything) and detractors say it's geared for kids, but I honestly had a blast with it.



I have never played a Donkey Kong game. Maybe I’ll have to remedy that in the Switch after I finish Fire Emblem.


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I've played all five titles that specifically contain the word "Country". I've seen some lists also include DK64, which I haven't played. All of the games range from decent to excellent in their own way, but if I were to rank them: Tropical Freeze > DKC2 > Returns > DKC1 > DKC3.

It should be noted that I played the first DKC to death back in the day (Up until Gorilla Glacier anyway; the save point was so far away in that level, and the levels so brutal, that kid me couldn't quite pull through; finally finished it a few years ago) and played the rest of the Rare trilogy over the past few months. DKC2's platforming is fast, tight, challenging, and usually doesn't feel unfair. DKC3 is decent in its own right, but I don't feel like it did much new. Plus, to be blunt, I'm not a fan of Kiddy and some of the enemy designs seem more generic than previous iterations.

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@rallydefault Eh, I think there might be better IPs for bolstering the selection of collectathon platformers though, namely Kirby, Yoshi, and Wario, all of which have either abilities that are more suitable for nonlinear gameplay or already have collection based gameplay. DK's gameplay is more based on difficult, arcade style obstacle courses, so it'd be best for it to stick with linear 3D gameplay like 3D World. DK seemed to just go for the sandbox collectathon gameplay because that was pretty much the only type of 3D platformer people were making, not because it suited DK's gameplay. And considering the game's reliance on constant character switching and mini games over actual DK gameplay, I think it's safe to say it doesn't.


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DKC 1 is a classic that has almost reached Sonic 2 levels of "I'm kinda too used to it to love it as much as I used to" for me. Which doesn't always happen to games I play a lot, but I guess it did here.

DKC 2 is one of my favorite video games maybe ever, a classic example of perfecting and improving upon what the previous game did. Actually played it recently, will go back to it soon to play the secret levels. Though I'll fully admit to finally 102% it, I've been abusing the features on NSO to avoid replaying levels that much.

DKC3 is a game I played at a Funcoland as a kid years after it came out, and that's it. I've had a relatively negative opinion about it ever since, fair or not.

DKCR was a fantastic return to form, overly safe soundtrack included. Maybe my go to example for bringing back an old series to modern times without fundamentally changing it.

DK:TF is a great game I had difficulty loving as much as everyone else. I find I don't like exceptionally long 2d platformer levels, and the bonus levels didn't help. Also, I'm the one person who didn't love the soundtrack. David Wise did a similar style of music for Snake Pass and I actually preferred it there.

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They just need to make a new DKC like now! Bring back David Wise and retro studios and it's a guaranteed win! Plus i wanna see those scrapped moon levels seen in the unlockable concept art for tropical freeze become a reaIity! Clearly there was unfinished business. Let's see a third game to complete the modern trilogy!

I know alot of you will be saying you'd rather have a 3D game but it's funny how DK 64 is constantly hated on for being a collectathon. Gee i thought a longer lasting game was a good thing. I don't get the hate. Anyway yeah DK has been out of it for a while. He needs a comeback!

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I've only played Donkey Kong Country Returns but it was a really difficult, well-designed game that really played off of Country's strengths. The music was really good, updated to the modern standard, and it was a good challenge.

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@Tyranexx yeah those Gorilla Glacier levels are a tough gauntlet to get to Candy’s shop. Was so pumped when I did the other day. I struggled for a while but when I eventually got there I had 10 lives in the back pocket. Strange. Haven’t got to the 5th save point yet. Oil Mines and Trick Track Trek can go to hell. Haha. Having so much fun though. Can’t believe I haven’t ever played this game.


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